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Jumper: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 5, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Gould makes an auspicious debut with this playful and moving look at a hallowed science fiction concept: teleportation. Gould gives us no teleportation chambers, no shimmery beaming a la Star Trek , no worries about mingling one's own molecules with a fly's--here only one person can teleport, and he has no idea how he does it. David Rice, age 17, first "jumps" spontaneously in order to escape his abusive father. Having run away, he learns to control his strange talent, using it first to survive on the street and then to set himself up comfortably via bank robbery. Gould does not focus on moral implications so much as keep the plot moving quickly. David searches for his long-lost mother, meets and woos a girl, enjoys the pleasures of a leisurely life in New York and (despite his best efforts) eventually runs afoul of the authorities, who of course want to understand his powers and then put him to work for them. Short fiction has earned this author a reputation in "hard" science fiction, and he applies similar logic to teleportation (though he glosses over some points to make the story work). His warm, delightful and compulsively readable novel displays assured storytelling skill.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The sudden discovery of his teleportation ability rescues teenager David Rice from his abusive father. It also signals the beginning of a new life for the troubled young man. Gould's first novel features a hero who is not particularly wise and whose ethics are sometimes questionable, but whose yearnings and psychological turmoil ring true. A dollop of suspense and a dash of romance make this fast-paced sf adventure a good purchase for large libraries.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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David Rice is not your typical teenager. Besides being the victim of a drunken, abusive father, David learns he can teleport--which comes in handy as he avoids the seedy side of life. David uses this skill to leave his father for good, establish a new life--hopefully, with the girl of his dreams, and enact revenge for the death of his mother.
Although Jumper is neither an action book nor chalked full of hard-core science fiction, this book is incredibly interesting. We are promptly introduced to David (via first person view, a very apropos viewpoint for the scope of the novel, a good boy who loves to read. But when his father sees that he is reading instead of mowing the lawn, he gets out his belt to beat David. This is avoided when David suddenly teleports to the Stanville Public Library. The scene is well-written, the characters immediately interesting, and the word choices good. This smart writing and careful attention to character detail (namely David, as he is the only viewpoint given after all) is carried through the entire book.
David Rice is a very well fleshed character. He is good but not so good that he is above stealing from a bank, desiring revenge, and sometimes acting foolishly. He cries, he is angry, he loves, and he retaliates. Furthermore, he ponders rather intelligently how he developed the teleporting talent, the implications of the talent, and the science of teleporting (but don't expect to find the answer to this question). I enjoyed David's progression through life and hearing his thoughts about significant events in his life (his departure from his dad, meeting Millie, earning money, meeting his mother, etc.). His reactions are realistic and understandable.
While a great book, the language and some of the situations are rather rough (particularly the attempted rape scene and the abuse scene). I didn't realize that this book was even targeted at "children" until I read some of the other reviews. Personally, I would not recommend this book for kids or for those who get tripped up by the aforementioned.
Lastly, David's life is rather grim. It would have been nice had there been a few more bright moments. But I understand what the author was trying to accomplish, so this is not a huge problem for me.
The F-word crops up numerous times, particularly in the beginning, but also by David himself towards the end. Da**, he**, sh** and others also make appearances (mostly by the "bad" characters but sometimes by the good).
On page 8, David is almost raped by a trucker. He and Millie sleep with each other (alluded to and never explicit). A woman at a party propositions David. (Also, it is worth noting that alcohol abuse is present in the book in two characters: David's dad and a David's friend.)
This book is not hugely violent, just, for lack of words, "disturbingly" violent. David suffers under an abusive father. David's mother, Mary Niles, was abused so bad that she ended up in the hospital for a year after she left David and his dad. One of David's neighbors abuses his wife. A trucker attempts to rape David. Mary is involved in an accident, which is described in rather gruesome details. Another person explodes, and David picks up his remains (very gruesome for someone like me).
I am pleasantly surprised about this book. Although a little violent and harsh (again, those with high sensitivity and children should not read), this is a good book. David is a great character with a unique talent. Those that like hard core science fiction may not like how this talent is explained, but Gould's purpose, I think, was to show how someone dealt with the ability to teleport, not how it was done. Therefore, this novel is particularly appealing for those who want a deep character study spattered with science fiction instead of action/hard sci-fi. Had the language, violence, and sexual situations (rape scene) been toned just a little bit, I might give this 5 stars. As is, I will give 3.5 rounded to 4.
Brought to you by
When Albert Einstein died in 1955, Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the pathologist who performed the autopsy, took it upon himself to remove the brain and take it to his lab at the University of Pennsylvania, where he performed some tests, and distributed a few samples to other researchers. Harvey then took the prepared and preserved sections of the brain home with him, where he intended, he said, to continue a program of research after being dismissed from his position. Over the following decades Harvey did distribute a few samples to other researchers, but for the most part, the brain simply followed him around the country in and out of various jobs. In 1997 Harvey was contacted by the writer Michael Paterniti, and in the course of interviews remarked that he would like to return the brain to Einstein's last surviving relative, his granddaughter Evelyn. Paterniti impulsively volunteered to drive Harvey across the country to make the delivery, and this book is the journal of that drive, and the events that followed.
Like Paterniti's more recent "The Telling Room," this book is as much about Paterniti as it is about the events and the characters that are the subject of his narrative. He tells us about his background, his life, and his tremendous desire to open the mason jars holding the brain samples and touch them, squeeze them. Why? He's not quite sure himself.
There's a small amount of actual science discussed in the course of this book, most of which should be ignored as it's generally inaccurate. No, Einstein did not determine that photos have mass (they do not), and a microtome is not just like a deli slicer. (He's also a bit light on the amount of actual science that was done on the various brain samples by researchers- see the Wikipedia entry on "Einstein's Brain" for a good discussion.) The attempts at scientific explanation are only trivial side notes to the real story, which is why Harvey took the brian, and why he hung on to it for fifty-five years, only to suddenly give it away. We never do get the answer to either of these questions, but Paterniti is a fine writer, and he does introduce us to a a number of interesting characters with their own interesting stories whom he meets on his journey. For that, three stars.
Now the story itself I thoroughly enjoyed. I am reviewing the quality of the kindle edition here.
The quality of the spelling is horrible. Almost every single page at the beginning of the book has a spelling error on it. Towards the end of the book the errors drop off to about one every three or four pages.
The most common error is any word that has a "cl" is now converted to a "d". So you will often read sentences like "The DOCK on the wall showed 8pm". It is jarring and takes you out of the story for a second or two. Sometimes you will get a word that makes no sense and you can't easily guess it either, for example "His wallet was SUFFER and thicker than usual".
It seems this ebook was created by scanning in the pages and using a computer to do optical character recognition, which would explain all the "cl" looking like a "d" to the computer.
If they had even bothered to do a quick proof read they would have picked this up right away as there was an error on the first page already!
The fact that this was the more expensive option is completely ridiculous. It stinks of a cheap scam if you ask me.